Retail worker claims she had to pee in a bucket at work

IMAGINE being forced to urinate in a mop bucket at work.

According to an anonymous Ipswich Noni B worker, this is commonplace. She is one of many workers to come forward to blow the whistle on unacceptable working conditions.

The source said workers were alone for five-hour shifts, unable to eat, drink nor close the doors to go to the toilet.

She is a 12-year retail veteran employed with Speciality Fashion Group, now owned by the Noni B group.

"I, myself, and I know of other staff, have sometimes resorted to using the store mop bucket in the back room to relieve ourselves," she said.

"But to be told I cannot have a bottle of water to sip during my shift is unreasonable, especially in a dry air-conditioned environment. I find this a basic human right... and I worry about the fact that our workforce is 99 per cent women and over time this will cause us to get urinary tract infections."

"I feel the company has no regard for its workforce and is only interested in its profits. I feel depressed and hate the thought of going in. I am currently looking for other employment as I no longer want to work in this pressure-cooker environment."

Not only are workers struggling with third-world working conditions, and unreasonable sales targets, a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement has caused staffing issues as well.

"Before the new agreement took effect, the company held private individual meetings with team members and reduced their contracts by 20 per cent so they could get it done before the new agreement made it impossible," she said.

The majority of stores run on a skeleton crew with a staff member to cover lunch breaks and peak trade periods.

"Some stores now like ours have a 15-minute crossover of staff," she said.

In that time, staff are supposed to use the toilet, do the banking, take rubbish out, handover to the next staff member, all while continuing to serve.

"I have expressed my concerns with upper management only to be made to feel like a whinger or ungrateful to have a job," she said.

"The company needs to see what it's doing to its staff and address the issues before something really serious happens.

"Either a serious injury in the workplace or staff with serious mental health issues or worse suicide as some of the girls feel trapped in the job due to financial needs or that Noni B own so many brands, they will find it hard to get jobs in fashion outside the company."

Noni B was contacted for comment.

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